The largest privately-held, developed land parcel located inside the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park is now permanently protected federal wilderness thanks to National Park Trust’s (NPT) partnership with The Wilderness Land Trust and Rocky Mountain Conservancy. These three lead organizations worked with a number of local funders and supporters to purchase this critical property within the park, remove the existing two-story house from the property, and return the land to its natural state.
A generous gift from The Barrett Family Foundation to NPT of $150,000 was the final piece of funding that was needed to close the deal.
Since 2009, this land has been a high priority parcel that Rocky Mountain National Park sought to permanently protect. A highly coveted lot, the property and house were perched on a rocky overlook and could be seen from every vantage point within the Wild Basin area. With the removal of the house and the access road leading to the property, 33 acres of wilderness (the highest level of conservation protection) will be added to the park. The paved access road will be restricted to foot traffic until it is permanently removed, allowing the public to appreciate the view from the property’s overlook for the first time in nearly 100 years.
“We are pleased to be able to assist in returning this land to its natural state and reopen the area to the public, providing access to a beautiful overlook into the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park, said Phil Selleck, Park Projects Director at National Park Trust. “Our national parks belong to everyone and this once private vista can finally be enjoyed by all and protected for future generations.”
“Rocky Mountain National Park is so appreciative of our partners and staff who have worked hard to add this parcel to the park,” said Darla Sidles, Superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park. “It is an honor to forever ensure the protection and access of this beautiful Wild Basin area.”
“We are thrilled to see 33 acres of wilderness added to Rocky Mountain National Park,” said Brad Borst, President, The Wilderness Land Trust. “The Wild Basin area of the park provides many outstanding areas for hiking, fishing, and camping. Permanent protection of this property will secure the area from intrusive development on the St. Vrain River. Visitors can now enjoy this property in its natural state, and we sincerely thank all our partners for helping to get the job done.”
ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST
NPT’s mission is preserving parks today; creating park stewards for tomorrow. In the 35 years since NPT was established, the non-profit organization has completed 62 land acquisition, restoration, and mitigation projects in 30 states, 1 U.S. Territory and Washington, D.C. including 49 National Park Service projects. In 2009, NPT launched its nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs which currently supports more than 200 Title I schools across the country. Since 2011, NPT has organized Kids to Parks Day, an annual national celebration of America’s parks hosted on the third Saturday in May.
More details about NPT can be found at www.parktrust.org.
ABOUT THE WILDERNESS LAND TRUST
The Wilderness Land Trust is a small, highly specialized nonprofit organization established to buy and protect wilderness land. Since founded in 1992, the Trust has preserved 432 parcels comprising more than 47,000 acres of wilderness inholdings in 93 designated and proposed wilderness areas across 9 states. The Wilderness Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) organization, has offices in California and Colorado.
For more information visit our website www.wildernesslandtrust.org.